Postgrowth economies: Paradoxical regional dynamics as challenges for spatial sciences

Authors: Samuel Mössner*, Münster University
Topics: Economic Geography, Planning Geography
Keywords: post-growth, regional development
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Blue Room, Omni, East
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The paper takes up two current discussions on alternative and diverse economies as well as on regional path developments and their deviations and elasticities. While to date predominantly key sectors and their systems (energy, mobility, infrastructures) have been discussed at the forefront of socio-economic transitions and transformations at regional level, we pose the question of how significant forces and manifestation of old traditional growth logics and positions of power will be created in growth-influenced regions despite the normative expectation of global transformation explicitly expressed by politics and society. Under the influence of new developments - such as the so-called traffic turnaround, the promotion of sustainable socio-ecological development, the expansion of digital infrastructures and many bottom-up niche developments that point to the institutionalization of so-called alternative economic spaces - peripheral growth-orientated regions (such as the Oldenburger Münsterland and the region of Ostwestfalen-Lippe in Nordwest-Germany) are confronted with a profound change. It is not only accompanied by considerable funding expenditure and large image campaigns on the part of politicians and demanded equally by science and practice, but also calls into question the prevailing dogma of economic growth. However, regional efforts to maintain growth logics are often embedded in and framed by highly stabilizing institutional and collective practices with specific spatial imaginaries that block rather than enable transitions and transformations. We assume, that due to multiple paradigmatic shifts, growth regions paradoxically remain as path-stable dynamics and maintain regional paths developments despite its known negative effects for the future.

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